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View Full Version : White House fence-jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known



Absinthe Anecdote
10-01-2014, 04:46 PM
The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds — often through the alarm boxes posted around the property — they must immediately lock the front door.

After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

Gonzalez was tackled by a counterassault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Secret Service officials had earlier said he was quickly detained at the main entry. Agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said the office is not commenting during the ongoing investigation of the incident.

Breaches of the White House fence have become more common, but most jumpers are tackled by Secret Service officers guarding the complex before they get even a third of the way across the lawn. Gonzalez is the first person known to have jumped the fence and made it inside the executive mansion.


Rest of the article w/ pretty good maps and graphics can be found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-fence-jumper-made-it-far-deeper-into-building-than-previously-known/2014/09/29/02efd53e-47ea-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html

I know a little bit about physical security, and this is a serious lapse of security on so many levels.

They were very lucky this guy didn't hurt anyone, or worse.

I'm shocked that he made it that far into the White House after jumping the fence.

I just listened to an NPR interview with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) who heard testimony yesterday from the Secret Service Director, Julia Pierson. I fully expect that Cummings will soon call for Pierson's resignation.

It seems she said that she wasn't aware of any other recent security lapses, when she was aware of incident with a armed contracted security guard getting on an elevator with the president at the CDC in Atlanta.

Apparently, the security guard wasn't threatening, but did act goofy and star-struck, pulling out his iPhone and taking selfies with the President. The Secret Service agents didn't stop him from jumping on the elevator, when they should have.

The NPR segment that I listened to included an interview with the Washington Post reporter that has been covering the Secret Service for a couple of years. She claims that there are serious morale problems within the Secret Service, and Rep. Cummings stated the same, saying that agents have been bringing issues to Congress, outside their chain of command.

Sounds like Pierson won't last another week, and I hope they tighten security at the White House.

TJMAC77SP
10-01-2014, 05:02 PM
The man who jumped the White House fence this month and sprinted through the front door made it much farther into the building than previously known, overpowering one Secret Service officer and running through much of the main floor, according to three people familiar with the incident.

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds — often through the alarm boxes posted around the property — they must immediately lock the front door.

After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

Gonzalez was tackled by a counterassault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.

Secret Service officials had earlier said he was quickly detained at the main entry. Agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said the office is not commenting during the ongoing investigation of the incident.

Breaches of the White House fence have become more common, but most jumpers are tackled by Secret Service officers guarding the complex before they get even a third of the way across the lawn. Gonzalez is the first person known to have jumped the fence and made it inside the executive mansion.


Rest of the article w/ pretty good maps and graphics can be found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-fence-jumper-made-it-far-deeper-into-building-than-previously-known/2014/09/29/02efd53e-47ea-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html

I know a little bit about physical security, and this is a serious lapse of security on so many levels.

They were very lucky this guy didn't hurt anyone, or worse.

I'm shocked that he made it that far into the White House after jumping the fence.

I just listened to an NPR interview with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) who heard testimony yesterday from the Secret Service Director, Julia Pierson. I fully expect that Cummings will soon call for Pierson's resignation.

It seems she said that she wasn't aware of any other recent security lapses, when she was aware of incident with a armed contracted security guard getting on an elevator with the president at the CDC in Atlanta.

Apparently, the security guard wasn't threatening, but did act goofy and star-struck, pulling out his iPhone and taking selfies with the President. The Secret Service agents didn't stop him from jumping on the elevator, when they should have.

The NPR segment that I listened to included an interview with the Washington Post reporter that has been covering the Secret Service for a couple of years. She claims that there are serious morale problems within the Secret Service, and Rep. Cummings stated the same, saying that agents have been bringing issues to Congress, outside their chain of command.

Sounds like Pierson won't last another week, and I hope they tighten security at the White House.

Of everything that has come out regarding USSS goofs the guy getting in the elevator with the President just frapping baffles me. That is the innermost 'bubble' and is supposed to be inviolate. The USSS is usually not shy at all about modifying behavior inside that bubble. Incredible. I usually get uncomfortable when people start calling for the resignation of an agency chief too quickly but in this case I think it is unavoidable and the absolute right move.

Rainmaker
10-01-2014, 07:05 PM
Of everything that has come out regarding USSS goofs the guy getting in the elevator with the President just frapping baffles me. That is the innermost 'bubble' and is supposed to be inviolate. The USSS is usually not shy at all about modifying behavior inside that bubble. Incredible. I usually get uncomfortable when people start calling for the resignation of an agency chief too quickly but in this case I think it is unavoidable and the absolute right move.

just more fear porn and boogymen to frame the debate and force you into voluntary compliance with a police state. Weren't they just telling us 6 weeks ago that ISIS and OSIRIS were threating the Golfer in Chief? http://abcnews.go.com/US/secret-service-aware-apparent-isis-flag-photo-front/story?id=24985241

But, now, we're supposed to believe that the shooters got stage fright, the dogs were asleep, someone left the door unlocked, the little girl guarding the door got overpowered...by a handicapped vet with PTSD and 3 inch Spyderco folding knife.....riiight....

garhkal
10-01-2014, 09:12 PM
With these 3 lapses i can't see the director staying in her job. BUT since all the debacles we have had with obama in office, and so far not ONE person has been fired, i don't see anything happening to her other than her being "allowed to retire".

TJMAC77SP
10-01-2014, 09:28 PM
While I understand the 'captain' bears responsibility for everything that happens on the ship I am having a hard time pointing any legitimate finger at the President here.

She is an SES with over 30 years of service so fired or allowed to resign, she will collect a retirement.

BURAWSKI
10-02-2014, 01:45 AM
While I understand the 'captain' bears responsibility for everything that happens on the ship I am having a hard time pointing any legitimate finger at the President here.

She is an SES with over 30 years of service so fired or allowed to resign, she will collect a retirement.


She "resigned" today. But I doubt that she did voluntarily. Behind closed doors I am sure she was told to resign or she would be terminated. But you are right about the retirement. Not a punishment by any stretch of the imagination. All this business of the goofs with the USSS has me thinking about the Kennedy Assassination, and the lax in security during his trip to Dallas. The lax security was especially deliberate for that trip to Dallas in 1963, and certainly wasn't unintentional as the USSS has always maintained. I think President Obama should be very worried about the USSS.

garhkal
10-02-2014, 04:35 AM
Especially when you consider that if this happened in the civilian sector, they would have been canned, NOT allowed to retire with full benefits etc.
Though what i'd like to know, is for that issue with the armed security agent in that Atlanta elevator.. IF he DID have those convictions on his record, how the heck did he get cleared to even BE an armed security agent in the first place??

Measure Man
10-02-2014, 06:12 AM
Especially when you consider that if this happened in the civilian sector, they would have been canned, NOT allowed to retire with full benefits etc.

LOL. Someone at this level in the civilian sector gets a multi-million dollar golden parachute buyout when they are fired.

giggawatt
10-02-2014, 08:34 AM
Another failure by an entity of the Obummer regime! :D

But seriously, maybe they should consider this course of action.

http://www.duffelblog.com/2014/10/secret-service-white-house/

Stalwart
10-02-2014, 01:46 PM
LOL. Someone at this level in the civilian sector gets a multi-million dollar golden parachute buyout when they are fired.


It was clear that she was on her way out Monday night when Democratic members of Congress cooled their support for her. I do wonder if it (as it seems to me) is that the straw that broke the camel's back was not the incidents themselves but the length of time to notify the White House of the entirety of the incidents (Military 101: don't be the senior guy with a secret.).

All that aside, am not really in favor of revoking her pension. The vast majority of her time was served well, unless a removal for causeis initiated (gross - active participation ion in misconduct) she did earn her pension.

We should in this case put politics and personal opinions of the President & administration aside and try to figure out what procedurally broke down. I spent one year (long time ago) at Camp David, and the failure in protection protocols is huge. Was the deviation from procedure at the direction of personal or administration staff, a result of complacency by he personal protection detail, convenience of the residential staff? If anything, the people working in the residence and the First Family deserve better than they got.

Absinthe Anecdote
10-02-2014, 02:22 PM
It was clear that she was on her way out Monday night when Democratic members of Congress cooled their support for her. I do wonder if it (as it seems to me) is that the straw that broke the camel's back was not the incidents themselves but the length of time to notify the White House of the entirety of the incidents (Military 101: don't be the senior guy with a secret.).

I think that was a factor, but it might have had more to do with numerous Secret Service personnel taking their concerns directly to congress. From the stuff I heard Elijah Cummings say in a live telephone interview on NPR yesterday, there are a lot of concerned people in the USSS. Apparently, they have lost faith in the ability of their organization to identify and fix problems.


All that aside, am not really in favor of revoking her pension. The vast majority of her time was served well, unless a removal for causeis initiated (gross - active participation ion in misconduct) she did earn her pension.


I agree, the people calling for her to lose her benefits are being hotheaded, and not thinking the issue through. Stepping down under those conditions is a serious blow, and a personal failure.

Absent criminal misconduct, she should keep her pension.




We should in this case put politics and personal opinions of the President & administration aside and try to figure out what procedurally broke down. I spent one year (long time ago) at Camp David, and the failure in protection protocols is huge. Was the deviation from procedure at the direction of personal or administration staff, a result of complacency by he personal protection detail, convenience of the residential staff? If anything, the people working in the residence and the First Family deserve better than they got.

To immediately start hurling political barbs misses the issue entirely. Something appears to have gone seriously wrong with one of our most elite and respected government agencies.

I'm more concerned with getting the problems fixed. Having worked at, and for, a number of civilian government agencies, I can say that your average government worker is a dedicated professional, that tries very hard to keep their political views separate from the job they do.

Looking at this issue through a political lens, isn't appropriate.

sandsjames
10-02-2014, 04:52 PM
Looking at this issue through a political lens, isn't appropriate.I'll go even further and say it's ridiculous to make this political in any form. Working in an Intel unit, around career Intel professionals, there was always the occasional "incident". As a matter of fact, I think the longest our board showing the number of days since the last incident never made it past about 80. Stuff happens, people become complacent, even in situations that are considered extremely vital.

SomeRandomGuy
10-02-2014, 05:09 PM
These days it seems the Secret Service is roughly as good as the Border Patrol at their job